If Frankfort Wants More Manufacturing, It'll Need More People First

Aug 21, 2015

The Opus Group finished construction on the ConAgra distribution facility (above) earlier this week.
Credit The Opus Group

Frankfort is looking to expand its population to fill industrial jobs Mayor Chris McBarnes is trying to lure to the city. The unemployment rate is around 4-percent, which means there are only about 700 unemployed people in the 16,000-person city – and not all of them are trained to be manufacturers.

McBarnes says if ConAgra, which finished its Frankfort distribution hub earlier this month, exercises its option to build a manufacturing center in the city, it’d require hundreds of workers – but McBarnes admits the city would need to import them.

“We’re fighting on many different fronts, but we must not only educate our workforce, but grow our workforce if we want to continue these opportunities into the future,” McBarnes says.

Ivy Tech-Frankfort will offer a class this fall on industrial technology – hoping to train residents for jobs which may materialize in the future. Site Director Andrew Muffett says more industrial investments would bring more people to the school for training.

“There is a decent base here that already lives here and exists here and I think as they bring in more people such as the Ryder, ConAgra and some of those other folks that are looking at expanding, I think people start coming in from different areas,” Muffett says.

Muffett says only a handful of people graduate with manufacturing credentials from Ivy Tech-Frankfort each semester.